Diasporian News of Tuesday, 21 January 2014
Source: Sources Radio UK 96.3FM
The chairman of the New Patriotic Party in UK Mr. Hayford Atta-Krufi has challenged President Mahama to prove that he is a true son of the North by doing more to bridge the poverty gap between the North and South of Ghana. He said this during an interview on Source Radio in London over the weekend.
He said the President has so far been a disgrace to the Northern community as he has only paid lip service to them after using them to get the votes to propel him to power. "The aim in politics is to make a change, and certainly for President Mahama, the challenge even becomes stronger as he is from the North, a place that has the biggest potential to be the bread basket of Ghana, and yet through years of neglect has become barren and fraught with poverty" Mr. Atta-Krufi opined.
"I dare him to order the payment of the feeding fund for the secondary schools in the northern regions; I dare him to complete the Damongo-Fufulso road; I dare him to complete the Walewale-Gambaga-Nalerigu road and the Bunkrugu to Nakpanduri road. I dare him to construct the Botanga Dam in the Northern Region for effective water harvesting and fully commit to the tenets of SADA" the NPP chairman challenged President Mahama.
Narrating the good intentions of the NPP to create a Northern Development Act in a future NPP administration to recognise the need for positive economic discrimination in favour of the North, he said “In 2008, the NPP established a Northern Development Authority mandated with the task of economically transforming the northern regions. The NDC in government have failed to execute this programme under SADA. After five years SADA has become an avenue for corruption and failed promises instead of being a development strategy for the North. A major government programme of this nature has rather been placed on the laps of corrupt agencies like GYEEDA and contracts awarded to cronies like Asontaba and RLG. There is simply very little commitment to SADA beyond the usual rhetoric and President Mahama is supervising this rot”.
Challenged as to what the NPP would have done different he explained that NPP vision for the North is to modernise the savannah regions to become the granary and food basket of Ghana and beyond. “It is important as a country to develop and transform the savannah regions in line with our economic transformation agenda as a region of economic importance. The three northern regions are endowed with resources of significant economic importance, such as iron ore and gold and arable land. As part of our national development strategy of NPP it is very important to develop the region in order to bridge the poverty gap in the country” he replied.
“The NPP would have developed the North on an integrated project combining Agriculture, Education, Health and Infrastructure. The Zongo and Inner City Re-development Fund would have been an integral part of the Northern Development Project” he concluded.
He challenged President Mahama to do more than just paying lip service to Northerners. He said giving 90% ministerial jobs to Northerners who are doing very little to help their own people was a trite manifestation of disappointment that we have in John Mahama. He lamented on the lack of funds to pay for the feeding of secondary schools in the northern regions and called on Ghanaians to demand more from our leaders and hold them to account for their elections promises.